Every once in a while life stops being process and everything comes into still focus, like a telescope trained on a tableau. Even though I am 45 and have had children for 19 1/2 years (!!!), inside I still usually feel like a kid, my self-image stuck at about 21, my view of life looking forward as if the REALLY good stuff still lies ahead, although I will be fortunate indeed if I am not yet past my actuarial midpoint.
So last night was New Year's Eve - that is one night out of the year when I have usually, you know, DONE something. I DJ'd one party or another all through the '80s, DJ'd one club or another through most of the '90s - even last year the two older kids were over at their mother's and the then-3-year-old fell asleep remarkably early so we were able to put the little TV in the big bathroom, grab the champagne, and welcome in the new year from the jacuzzi, which seemed jaunty, decadent and memorably self-indulgent.
But this year my son had a small party at our house up in his semi-detached room above the garage - teenage girls were coming and going all night - which we had to at least nominally supervise, Lily was wide awake and eager to hang out with us, AND we have an infant less than three weeks old. I have never felt more parental.
I ran out to Wal-Mart and grabbed a bunch of cheap DVD's - most for $5.50 - but even the relatively new, double-DVD set of Die Another Day was on sale for $14.00. After Lily's misgivings about it being a scary movie - she's in that phase now - we all enjoyed the latest Bond epic quite a bit, in fact it's the best one I can remember seeing since the Sean Connery days. Brosnan is less carefree and more believable as an aging (but not ridiculously superannuated like the later Roger Moore or encore Connery days) agent on a mission to get personal revenge against a North Korean terrorist/spy AND save the world.
Though the effects and settings are extraordinary throughout, the conflicts and human relationships generate some real traction this time and, unlike the typical Bond flick, feel much less like a preordained lark. Though over two hours long, Die Another Day easily held our attention until the climactic laser-tag battle for the world at the end. And Halle Berry is the most active, competent, and sexy Bond girl ever. She rocks HARD.